The Arts and Crafts movement flourished during the late 1800s and early 1900s in both Europe and the United States. Founded by William Grueby (1867-1925), the pottery was known for naturally shaped vessels with matte green glaze ( 69.91.2 ). In addition to pottery, lighting was also an important element that contributed to the ideal Arts and Crafts interior. Being the salesman and marketing genius that he is, Elbert Hubbard hires talented individuals to illustrate and bind his books, then expands his enterprise with the Roycroft Inn, the Roycroft Copper Shop and the Roycroft Furniture Shop, plus a couple of magazines.
As part of the intense interest and activities of the Arts and Craft movement which swept Australia in the 1960s and 70s, weavers researched chemical and vegetable dies, and how to achieve textural improvement and a large output in response to the high demand for furnishings and rugs which were made from natural hand-spun and unspun wool. These flowered as part of a widespread community art and craft movement in the 1970s.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and crafts became an intrinsic part of the modern arts and craft movement with the recognition of Indigenous craft forms as art objects in the 1970s. Victorian furniture was not known to stand up to years of use, but the Arts and Crafts movement created furniture that could be handed down through generations. During his own lifetime Morris produced hundreds and hundreds of designs for textiles, including tapestries and superb hand woven carpets.
The following year he returned to the United States and founded the United Crafts of Eastwood, New York. The philosophical elements of the movement may have been lost on them, but consumers loved the products. Morris and co. also produced simply made cabinets and sideboards on which Morris painted scenes of medieval fantasy. Arts and Crafts ideals disseminated in America through journal and newspaper writing were supplemented by societies that sponsored lectures.
Art schools and technical colleges particularly in London, Glasgow, and Birmingham played an important role in developing the movement. Stickley’s furniture was at first very solid and plain, but he continued to hire brilliant designers and it soon took on a more elegant quality. Many book cover designs in the Edwardian era boasted floral motifs or simple artistic designs inspired by the arts and crafts movement. The house, Blackwood , in Melbourne was designed and built in an Arts and Crafts style by Butler and Ussher in 1891.
The death of Roycroft founder Elbert Hubbard, who drown when the Germans sank the Lusitania in 1915, foreshadowed the death of the American Arts and Crafts Movement. These communities drew upon design reformers’ cultural critiques—especially Morris’s views on art and labor—while their picturesque, vernacular-styled physical environments were inspired by the work of reformist architects such as Eyre. William Morris was the central figure in the Arts and Crafts Movement and one of the most important and influential designers in British History. His large staff and factory designed and fabricated hundreds of Craftsman pieces, from furniture to lighting fixtures.
The Arts and Crafts Movement and the Craftsman Style met many cities spanning the United States including, but not limited to, San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City, Dallas and Washington. The ideals of the Arts and Crafts Movement are aesthetically expressed, in the past and present, in beautifully handcrafted household objects, useful and uncluttered home decor, homes and landscapes built with local materials, and home environments blended with nature. Without a singular philosophy, diversity persevered within the Arts and Crafts movement as a mixture of individuals worked in diverse locations.
His furniture was far superior to mass-produced items, but only the very rich could afford it. Morris found himself selling to people who owned factories, the very people he despised. Morris was an English textile designer, poet, novelist, and socialist activist. Most furniture from this era was finished in rich wood tones, adding warmth to the space. Arts and crafts was born at the height of the Industrial Revolution and Victorian excess in design. Late in life, Morris fulfilled his passion of publishing books with the establishment of his Kelmscott Press in the 1890s. Arts and Crafts designers also shared John Ruskin’s belief in the moral purpose of art.